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The Enemy Among Us: POW's in Missouri during World War II Hardcover – December 15, 2010
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"A POW study about Missouri is long overdue."—Dr. Arnold Krammer, author of Nazi Prisoners of War in America
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE During World War II, more than fifteen thousand German and Italian soldiers came to Missouri. This fascinating tale recounts the creation of the camps and the lives touched when fate brought Missourians and the enemy face-to-face.
Top Customer Reviews
The Enemy Among Us is richly spiced with first-person accounts from many perspectives of the POW camps, from prisoner and guard, camp worker and ordinary citizen, and beyond. Accounts of friendship, escape, mischief and romance keep it lively, and Fiedler's eye for detail and human interest make his narrative sparkle.
The Enemy Among Us offers first an overview of the POW program, and then works its way geographically through the Missouri camps. The four big camps (Clark, Crowder, Leonard Wood and Weingarten) each merit their own chapter, and subsequent chapters examine the smaller branch camps as they were clustered in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas, in the Missouri Bootheel, in central Missouri, and other parts of the state. Fiedler closes his book with a chapter that details the POWs' return to Europe, their experience after the war, and in some cases, their return to the U.S. as visitors or immigrants. Over a hundred photographs put faces on the people involved and provide a nice accompaniment to the text.
Because of its easy-reading examination of a fascinating, yet little-known subject, The Enemy Among Us will appeal to just about anyone, whether WWII history buff or someone simply interested to hear about the time when 30 POW camps dotted the Missouri landscape, and German- and Italian-speaking soldiers worked in the fields.
There are photos expressively dispersed in the book, which help to bring lucidity to the overall picture. The fact that so many prisoners were in America will shock the non-historian, as well as the casual reader. It will be equally surprising for most to read the elaborate measures taken to accomodate these POW's. How they retained their culture and discipline is also very interesting, especially the Germans. Although, to Germans this"Gehorsamkeit" or obedience to authority is not shocking, it is fascinating nonetheless.Read more ›
The photographs are excellent and Fiedler does a wonderful job of sharing a fascinating story!
Especially in light of the current news about POW's, this book is very timely and interesting.
This book confirmed some things that I had heard and raised several aspects of the program of which I had never thought. Fiedler organizes the book by camp with sections concerning the aspects of each. He relates the nationality and attitudes of the prisoners at each camp along with their work, recreation, worship and their relations with the surrounding civilians. The camps were spread across the state including rural areas, in which the prisoners were sought as farm laborers, to the outskirts of St. Louis and Kansas City, where work was often in nurseries or construction projects. It seems that clerics, prominently among them St. Louis Msgr. John Cody, who would later serve as Archbishops of New Orleans and Chicago, made diligent efforts to ensure that religious services would be available to the POWs. I found the prisoners' wish lists for musical instruments to be surprising, but consistent with that of the British POWs who "jammed" with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.
The political rivalries that the prisoners brought to the camps created challenges for the guards and ring true to stories that I have heard. My uncle, who was a guard of Italian POWs at a camp in Texas, once told me that they had to keep the King's men and Mussolini's troops. The need to separate the King's loyalists from militant Fascists came up at least twice in this book. It also brings up the methods, sometimes fatal, by which strident Nazis enforced discipline among the German troops.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was totally shocked to hear we had POW camps here! My mother in-law always told me her story how her and her husband ,Dr. Read morePublished on August 13, 2014 by terri correnti
This is a very good book. I wish I had paid more attention to the old POW barracks before they were torn down.Published on July 13, 2014 by Sherry Lambert
Being a generation removed from War Memories, I had no idea that WWII POWs were held in my home state. Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by Spiritwolf922
Interesting reading. I live in the St Charles County area.
I've worked in the Gumbo Flats area of St Louis County for many years, always knew from the information of others... Read more
This books is amazing. I discovered it in a local bookstore, flipped through the pages and I knew I had to get it (on amazon). Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by wlmii
When I was a kid in the '50s, I remember going by this facility and asking what these buildings were. Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by Thomas H. Schramel
I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather being an Italian officer prisoner of war in Missouri. Now I understand why he always spoke about the USA with affection. Read morePublished on June 19, 2009 by Kace